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The Hungarian Army of the Second World War, who fought alongside the Germans during their invasion of the Soviet Union

VS

The Manchukuo Imperial Army, the army of the Japanese puppet state of Manchuria, who fought against Chinese guerillas and Soviet invasions during the Sino-Japanese War and World War II

Two lesser states of the Axis powers clash to determine...


WHO IS DEADLIEST!?

Royal Hungarian Army

Hungarian soldiers in the Carpathians.jpg

The Royal Hungarian Army (Hungarian: Magyar Királyi Honvédség, German: Königlich Ungarische Armee) refers to the land forces of the Kingdom of Hungary in the period from 1922 to 1945, and the successor to the Hungarian Honved, part of the military of Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Hungarian Army was originally restricted in size by the Treaty of Trianon at the end of World War I, but the force quickly expanded in size during the 1930s. In 1938, the Hungarian Army saw combat in the Hungarian invasion of then Czechoslovak-controlled Subcarpathia, and again in March 1939 during the brief Hungarian-Slovak War. During World War II, the Hungarians sided with the Axis after they signed the Tripartite Pact in 1940, allowing German Wehrmacht troops to transfer through Hungary during the German invasion of Yugoslavia. Hungary did not initially involves itself in Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, however, on June 27th, 1941, Hungary declared war on the Soviet Union, with the Hungarians eventually sending over 500,000 troops to fight in the invasion alongside the Germans. The Hungarians continued to fight alongside the Germans until 1944, when, in the face of an overwhelming Soviet counterattack, the Hungarian regent Miklos Hrothy attempted to make a separate peace with the Soviets. In response, German forces under Otto Skorzeny took Hrothy’s son hostage in October, 1944, forcing the regent to abdicate, and replaced him with a totalitarian regime. The pro-German Government of National Unity in Hungary lasted only two months, until Hrothy again claimed the be the legitimate leader of Hungary, and on January 29th, 1945, Hrothy signed an armistice with the Soviets. Those Hungarian forces that remained loyal to the Government of National Unity continued to fight alongside the Germans until April 4th, 1945, when the Germans were driven from Hungary. Some Hungarian fascists continued to fight alongside the Wehrmacht in southern Germany until Soviet capture of Prague, with the last units surrendering on May 11th, three days after the official surrender of Germany.

Imperial Manchukuo Army

Manchukuo Exercise.jpeg

The Manchukuo Army was the ground component and by far the largest component of the Empire of Manchukuo, a Japanese puppet state in Manchuria that existed from 1933 to 1945. The Manchukuo Army primarily fought against Chinese Communist guerillas and Chinese Nationalist guerillas, as well as bandits, but would also fight against the Soviet Red Army on several occasions. The Manchukuo Army consisted of about 110,000 personnel in 1933, and reached between 175,000 and 220,000 troops in 1945. Manchukuo Army troops were generally considered unreliable by the Japanese, as they were generally underequipped and suffered from poor training and morale. The army consisted mostly of infantry and cavalry armed with various Japanese, Chinese, and foreign small arms, with small numbers of light artillery pieces and a handful of obsolete tanks and armored vehicles. This force proved no match for the heavy armored forces of the Red Army when the Soviets invaded Manchuria in 1945. As Manchukuo collapsed under Soviet invasion, many Manchukuo soldiers fled into the countryside, with many of them later fighting in the Chinese Civil War, mostly joining Mao Zedong’s communist forces.

Weapons

Pistols

Frommer Stop (Hungarian)

The Frommer Stop is a Hungarian long-recoil pistol manufactured by Fémáru-, Fegyver és Gépgyár (FÉG) (Metalware, Weapons and Machine Factory) in Budapest. It was designed by Rudolf Frommer, and its original design was adopted as the Pisztoly 12M in 1912, created for the Royal Hungarian Army. The handgun was manufactured in various forms from 1912 to 1945 and used in the Hungarian Armed Forces as well as, during both World Wars, and by military of the Ottoman Empire in limited quantities. The weapon fired a 7.65mm round from a seven-round detachable magazine.


Mauser C96 (Manchukuo)

C96.jpg

The Chinese Armies of the early 20th Century favoured the use of the Mauser C96. Despite being mostly Japanese equipped, C96 pistols were used extensively by the Manchukuoan Army and Imperial Guard; especially among officers. The weapon fired the powerful 7.63mm Mauser round from a ten-round fixed magazine fed by a stripper clip. The weapon had an effective range of 200 meters. 


119’s Edge

Manchukuo’s Mauser C96 for its superior range and stopping power.

SMGs

Danuvia Kiraly 39M (Hungarian)

Danuvia-39M.png

The 9×25mm Danuvia submachine gun was designed by Hungarian engineer Pál Király in the late 1930s. They were issued to Hungarian army troops in 1939 and remained in service throughout World War II until the early 1950s. A total of roughly 8,000 were made between 1939 and 1945. The Danuvia was a large, sturdy weapon, similar to a carbine. Although inspired by the 9×19mm Parabellum Beretta Model 38/42, the Danuvia used the more powerful 9×25mm Mauser round. The Danuvia's magazine, which was available in 20 or 40 round capacities, can be folded forward into a recess in the stock where a plate then slides over it when not in use. The Kiraly has a rate of fire of 750 rounds per minute. Sights could be adjusted for ranges from 60 to 600 meters, but the weapon was unlikely to be effective at ranges greater than 200 meters or so, in spite of the longer barrel than most SMGs of the period.

MP-18 (Manchukuo)

MP18VWM.jpg

A German weapon originally developed and fielded by Germany late in the First World War, the MP-18 was later manufactured in a significant quantity in China (mostly from Tsingtao Arsenal). As it was plentiful enough in the Warlord Era of the 1920s, some of them would have found their way into the hands of the Manchukuoan Imperial Guards and Army following the Pacification of Manchukuo in 1932. Most of the MP-18s used by the Chinese were chambered for the 7.63mm Mauser round, and fired from a 20-round stick magazine, eliminating the problem with the unreliable 32-round snail drum magazines used in the First World War.

119’s Edge

The Hungarian’s Kiraly 39M for its superior rate of fire and larger magazine.

Rifles

FEG 35M (Hungarian)

35M Puska.jpg

The FÉG 35M was a bolt-action rifle, chambered in 8×56mmR. Though superficially still resembling the 95/31M Carbine it was a new design with a cock-on-close bolt. An easily recognizable distinguishing feature was the placement of the bolt handle, which was further forward than in the 1895 design, and used a turn-bolt, rather than straight-pull action. It was used by Hungary in the years leading up to and during World War II, and after World War II before being gradually phased out by both Red Army surplus and locally produced Mosin–Nagant carbines The weapon fired an 8x56mm round from a five-round magazine fed by stripper clips.

Mukden Type 13 Mauser (Manchukuo)

Mukden Mauser.jpeg

The region of Inner Manchuria was home to the Mukden Arsenal. During the 1920s, the leading Fengtian Clique set about production of Mauser-style rifles at the arsenal. The rifle would continue production when the Japanese took over the facility in 1932 until 1938. The weapon used 6.5mm Arisaka rounds in a five-round magazine fed by stripper clips. The weapon had an effective range of up to 500 meters.

119’s Edge

The Hungarian’s FEG 35M rifle for its larger, more powerful round.

Machine Guns

MG-30 (Hungarian)

MG 30.jpg

The Maschinengewehr 30, or MG 30 was a German-designed machine gun that saw some service with various armed forces in the 1930s. It was also modified to become the standard German aircraft gun as the MG 15 and MG 17. It is most notable as the design pattern that led to the MG 34 and MG 42, and thus is one of the major ancestors of many of the weapons in service which would later find widespread use into the 21st century. The weapon has a rate of fire of 600-800 rounds per minute, and Hungarian version was chambered by 8x/54mm ammunition fed by a 25-round magazine.

Type 11 LMG (Manchukuo)

Japanese Type 11 LMG from 1933 book.jpg

The Type 11 light machine gun (十一年式軽機関銃 Jyūichinen-shiki Kei-kikanjū) was a light machine gun used by the Imperial Japanese Army in the interwar period and during World War II. The weapon was designed by Japanese arms designer Kijiro Nambu, and was based on the Hotchkiss Benet-Mercie machine gun with some modifications in the design. Most notably, the weapon was fed by an unusual hopper system where six five-round stripper clips for the 6.5mm Arisaka rifle were loaded into the hopper, for a total of 30 rounds. This system had multiple disadvantages, most notably the tendency to allow dirt into the mechanism, leading to jams, as well as the inability to be reloaded on a move.

119’s Edge

The Hungarian’s MG-30 for its superior rate of fire and more reliable feed system.

Launchers

Schiessbecher (Hungarian)

Schiessbecher.jpg

In 1942, an attachable rifle grenade launcher called the Gewehrgranatengerät or Schiessbecher ("shooting cup") was introduced that was developed based on rifle grenade launcher models designed during World War I. The 30 mm Schiessbecher cup-type rifle grenade launcher could be mounted on any Karabiner 98k and was intended to replace all previous rifle grenade launcher models. The rifle grenade launcher could be used against infantry, fortifications and light armored vehicles up to a range of 280 m (306 yd), firing high explosive or anti-tank grenades, though the latter had limited firepower in comparison to weapon such as the Panzerfaust and were generally ineffective against later war tanks.

Type 10 “Knee Mortar” (Manchukuo)

Japanese Type 89 grenade discharger.gif

The Type 10 grenade discharger (十年式擲弾筒 Juu-nen-shiki tekidantō) was a Japanese smoothbore, muzzle loaded weapon used during the Second World War. It first entered service in 1921. The Type 10 has a range of 175 meters, greater than other grenade dischargers of that time. It had a range control device at the base of the barrel in the form of a graduated thimble by which a gas port at the base of the tube could be varied in size. For shorter ranges, part of the propellant gases escape to the side. Due to a translation error, the Type 10 was called the "knee mortar" by the Americans. This mistake in naming led to a number of American troops attempting to fire the weapon by resting it on their knee, leading to a broken kneecap from the recoil- the Type 10 was designed to be fired with the baseplate resting against the ground. The weapon could fire standard Type 91 grenades, 50mm HE rounds, incendiary shells, or smoke rounds, but lacked a shaped-charge anti-tank shell, making it ineffective against armored vehicles.

119’s Edge

The Hungarian’s Schiessbecher for its superior range and anti-armor rounds, which the knee-mortar lacked.

Artillery

8 cm FK M 17

8cmFKM17FortSillRightRearView2005.jpg

The 8 cm Feldkanone M. 17 was a dual-purpose field and mountain gun used by Austria-Hungary during World War I. In spite of the “8cm” designation, it was actually 76.5mm in caliber. Between the wars it was used by Austria, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia. Captured weapons were used by Nazi Germany under the designations 7.65 cm FK 17(ö) or (t) and 7.65 cm FK 303(j). The weapon was also used by the Hungarian Army during World War II as light field artillery. The weapon fired an 18-pound one-piece (propellant charge fixed to the shell like a rifle cartridge) HE shell, and could also fire shrapnel rounds and by the time of WWII, an AP round was also available in the same caliber used by the gun. The weapon had an effective firing range of 11,400 meters.

Type 41 Mountain Gun (Manchukuo)

Japanese Type 41 Mountain Gun.jpg

The Type 41 75 mm mountain gun is a Japanese license-built copy of the Krupp M1908 mountain gun. The Type 41 number was designated for the year the gun was accepted, the 41st year of Emperor Meiji's reign, 1908 in the Gregorian calendar. Originally it was the standard pack artillery weapon. After it was superseded by the Type 94 75 mm mountain gun, it was then used as an infantry "regimental" gun, deployed four to each infantry regiment, and referred to as "rentai ho" (regimental artillery). Two Gun shields were produced for the weapon, an early type, which folded into thirds, and a late type, which folded in half. The weapon fired a 75mm shell that, while I could not find it specified anywhere, appeared to be a single piece (combined shell and propellant similar to an oversized rifle cartridge) round, with a variety of different types of shell, including HE, AP, AP-HE (armor penetration: 20mm at 3000 m), shrapnel, shaped charge, incendiary, star shells, and “vomit gas” rounds, however, for the purposes of this match, only HE, shrapnel, and AP-HE rounds will be available to the Manchukuo forces. The HE round weighed between 9 and 12.5 pounds and the AP-HE weighing 13.66 pounds. The weapon had a maximum range of 7022 meters.

119’s Edge

The Hungarian’s FK M 17 for its superior range and heavier shell, meaning more explosive.

Armor

Toldi I tank.jpg

38M Toldi (Hungarian)

The 38M Toldi was a Hungarian light tank, based on the Swedish Landsverk L-60 tank. It was named after the 14th century Hungarian knight Miklós Toldi. For the purposes of this match, the tank will be a Toldi I, equipped with a maximum of 25mm of armor and armed with 20mm anti-tank rifle with a penetration of 60mm of armor at 100 meters and 16mm at 500 meters, meaning the weapon was completely obsolete by 1942 in the face of more heavily armored Soviet tanks. HE rounds did exist for the 20mm gun, as it was also used in AA gun, but it is not clear if they were carried by the tank. In any case, a 20mm HE round would have a smaller explosive payload than even the 37mm described below, limiting its usefulness. The Toldi also carried a 8mm machine gun. The tank had a top speed of 47 kilometers per hour.

Stridsvagn fm28 - Renault NC 27 Strängnäs 12.08.11 (6).jpg

Renault NC-27 (Manchukuo)

Manchukuo had few tanks, but they were given a few obsolete Renault NC-27s by the Japanese. The NC-27 was an upgrade to the famous First World War era Renault FT. It’s biggest upgrade was the running gear, which was completely revised. This featured twelve wheels and three large vertical volute springs, mounted on the lengthened body derived from the FT. The tank was powered by a Renault 62 hp 4-cylinder in line, gasoline, water cooled engine. It was coupled with a controlled differential based on the ‘Cletrac’ system. This was named after Cleveland Tractor Company who designed it. Speed was 10.5-11.5 mph (17-18.5 km/h). The main armament of the NC consisted of either the Puteaux 37mm (1.46 in) low velocity gun or a 7.5 mm (0.295 in.) Hotchkiss machine-gun. For the purposes of this match, the vehicle will be armed with a 37mm cannon. When using AP rounds, the 37mm could penetrate only between 12mm and 21mm of armor at 500 meters, making it useful only against light armor by 1939. On the other hand, the 37mm has a larger HE round than the 20mm used by the Toldi, with between 30 and 56 grams of explosive (though even this is relatively relatively light, roughly equal to a modern 40mm grenade round). The NC-27 had between 8 and 30mm of armor.

119’s Edge

The Hungarian Toldi I is far faster than the NC-27, but the NC-27 has a slightly larger armament and armor. In the end, I give a slight edge to the Toldi for its far superior speed and its high velocity main armament which, while smaller, has superior muzzle velocity and far better armor penetration to the NC-27’s main gun is still more than capable of destroying the NC-27. Essentially, the Toldi definitely has the firepower to knock out the NC-27, while the NC-27 will struggle against the Toldi unless it hits the weaker armor. In addition, the Toldi has both a machine gun and a cannon, allowing it to engage both infantry and armored targets.

X-Factors

Hungarian Army X-Factor Manchukuo Army
80 Combat Experience 65
65 Training 56
55 Logistics 40
63 Leadership 44

Explanations

The Hungarians take the advantage in terms of combat experience as, while the Manchukuo Army did see some combat against the Soviets in the Battle of Khalkin Gol in 1939 and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945, they were mostly deployed to fight bandits and guerillas. The Hungarians fought against the Soviets from 1942 until 1945 and, while their under-equipped forces often met catastrophic defeats, the fact remains that those who survived for any length of time were certainly more experienced. In terms of training, the Hungarian’s training wasn’t to the same level of their German allies, however, they were probably still better trained than the Manchukuo Army. While the Japanese did make some efforts to improve training in the Manchukuo Army, most of this went to a few elite units, and the fact remains that much of the army was considered unfit for combat by the Japanese into 1945. In terms of logistics, the Hungarians were often under-equipped in comparison to their German allies, particularly in the early part of the war, where their few, undergunned tanks were often outgunned by superior Soviet armor such as the T-34 and KV-1, and supplies, particularly vehicles often did not make it to the front due to poor supply lines and inventory recording. While they did seem some successes, the Hungarian forces suffered multiple crushing defeats later in the war, particularly at Stalingrad, in large part becuase of their poor logistical situation. That being said, as bad as Hungary’s logistical situation was, it was even worse for the Manchukuo Army. Hungary did at least have a domestic arms industry capable of producing small arms, artillery, tanks, and limited numbers of aircraft, even if this equipment was often obsolete for much of the war. Manchukuo has some arsenals producing small arms and small amount of artillery, but these could not produce enough weapons on their own, meaning the Manchukuo Army imported many Japanese weapons. By World War II, the Manchukuo Army was mostly standardized with the 6.5mm Arisaka round as the standard round for rifles and machine guns, though issues of varied weapons, often taking different calibers of ammunition still persisted with some reserve and real-line units. The Japanese provided little in the way of artillery or armor to the Manchukuo Army, which only had small numbers of outdated guns and tanks, which were easily outgunned by any force with their own armor and anti-tank weapons, as was demonstrated by the Soviets in 1939 and 1945. In terms of leadership, the Hungarians were often kept under tight control of German officers, giving their commanders limited flexibility, though they did achieve limited successes such as effective flanking maneuvers at the Battle of Uman and Kiev in 1941, the latter of which was a rare example of Hungarian commander taking the initiative to encircle to Soviets independent of German orders. While the Hungarians were of often restricted by the Germans, their leadership was still more competent than that of the Manchukuo Army, whose officers were often poorly trained and their troops poorly disciplined, as was shown to be evident when many of them quickly broke ranks and fled into the countryside in the face of Soviet advance.

Scenario

  • Each side in battle will consist of a force of 50 men, 3 artillery pieces, and 3 tanks on each side.
  • The battle will take place in an open grassland with rolling terrain and occasional groups of trees and structures scattered around.

Battle

  • Hungarian Army: 50 infantry, 3 artillery, 3 tanks
  • Manchukuo Army: 50 infantry, 3 artillery, 3 tanks


A force of 50 Manchukuo Army soldiers advanced through an open plain with scattered buildings and trees, searching for an encampment of Communist Guerillas rumored to be in the area. As they rounded a hilltop, they spotted the encampment, but something was wrong... these men were too well-armed, they had artillery and even tanks. Whoever they were, they were not guerillas.

A couple thousand meters away, near a small group of abandoned houses, a Hungarian officer looked at a map, trying to figure out where he was. They platoon of soldiers had been separated from the rest of their unit in dense fog. The fog has since lifted, but when they emerged from the mist, they were in a place that looked nothing like their surroundings before they entered the fog. He was sure they can't have travelled more than a few kilometers, but he couldn't see anything on the map the looked their surroundings.

Back with the Manchukuo Army unit, the officer raised his binoculars and looked down at the unknown encampment. After pausing for a few moments, he decided they could only be Soviet troops, no doubt the advance guard of an invasion force. As he put his binoculars back into their carrying case, he had his first sergeant relay the orders to the artillery battery.

The first warning the Hungarians had that they were under attack was the whistling of a 75mm shells flying through the air, and less than a second later, the roar of explosions as the shells impacted, kicking up fountains of earth dozens of meters into the air. One of the Hungarian artillery pieces was knocked out by a near miss that riddled the crew with shrapnel, while a second shell killed six men and left a few others wounded to varying degrees. The third shell set one of the Toldi I tanks in the armored platoon attached to the infantry unit ablaze. As the shells impacted in front of them, the Manchukuo infantry and armored forces advanced.

The Hungarian officer dove behind some hastily prepared earthworks constructed the night before as he called out "Enemy attack! Defensive positions! Return fire!". The two surviving Toldi tanks moved into hull-down positions behind a small rise as MG-30 placed in one of the houses, one three such weapons attached to the weapons section of the infantry platoon. Three Manchukuoan infantry were hit and fell to the ground as their fellows took cover behind the nearest NC-27 tank. Less than a second later, the machine gun was silenced by a 37mm shell from one of the Renault NC-27 light tanks attached the Manchukuoan force.

Less than a second after it fired, the NC-27's engine burst into flames, a round from the 20mm anti-tank gun of a Toldi I tank punching through the side armor. The crew piled out of the tanks, though only one of them escaped alive, the other being cut down by machine gun and rifle fire. At the same time the surviving Hungarian opened up, one shell landing near the Manchukuoan artillery battery and knocking out two of the guns. (Hungarians: 44 infantry, 2 tanks, 2 guns; Manchukuo: 42 infantry, 2 tanks, 1 gun)

In spite of the loss of the artillery, the Manchukuo advanced continued as an NC-27 fired another 37mm shell into a Hungarian trench on the left flank, killing three Hungarian soldiers, as a knee mortar round took out a second machine gun, killing both of the crew. As the Manchukuo infantry attempted to move in, however, they found themselves hit on the flanks with machine gun fire one of faster Toldi tanks. Between this and the surviving Hungarians firing their rifles and SMGs into the on coming horde, eight more Manchukuo troops were killed. The Manchukuo NC-27 attempted to rotate its turret towards the Toldi, but was struck twice in the side plate of the turret. As the 20mm round pierced the turret armor, the ammo in the tank detonated, blowing off the turret and killing both crew in a flash of fire. (Hungarians: 39 infantry, 2 tanks, 2 guns; Manchukuo: 34 infantry, 1 tanks, 1 gun)

At the same time, things were not going any better for the Manchukuo NC-27 on the right flank. The vehicle had knocked out a Hungarian 77mm artillery piece with a well-placed shell, but was immediately struck in the engine compartment from a shaped-charge round from a Hungarian soldier with a Scheissbecher. The anti-tank grenade set the engine on fire. Before the crew could even bail out, however, the tank was absolutely annihilated by a 77mm shell from the surviving gun, which also eliminated three Manchukuo infantry taking cover behind the wreckage of the tank. The Manchukuo troops, now unsupported by armor, turned tail and retreated. Four of them did not make it, being cut down by fire from Hungarian MG-30 machine gun. (Hungarians: 39 infantry, 2 tanks, 2 guns; Manchukuo: 27 infantry, 0 tanks, 1 gun)

As the Manchukuo assault was repulsed, a Hungarian officer blew his whistle, sounding a counterattack. The remaining artillery piece fired a shell into the retreating Manchukuo infantry, taking five of them out in single shell. As soon as the roar of the exploding shell subsided, the Hungarians advance, the Toldi tanks moving forward, with the infantry behind. Two more Manchukuo troops were cut down by rifle and machine gun fire before they made it back to their forward base, while only three Hungarians were killed by return fire. (Hungarians: 36 infantry, 2 tanks, 1 gun; Manchukuo: 20 infantry, 0 tanks, 1 gun).

As the Hungarians advanced, the last 75mm gun in the hands of the Manchukuo troops discharged one last shell, striking the nearest of two Toldi I tanks, destroying the vehicle instantly. At the same time, a machine gun on a ridgeline near the artillery battery along with about five Manchukuo riflemen opened up on the Hungarian infantry, intending to hold the line as the rest of the comrades retreated. Four more Hungarian troops collapsed to the ground from the incoming fire. This served only to slightly delay the Hungarian advance as the surviving troops dove to the ground for cover. Meanwhile, the Toldi I fired four shots from the 20mm cannon, the rounds exploding around the last remaining Manchukuo gun. The first shell killed one of the gun crew, but the second truly put the gun out of action for good, detonating a reserve shell, taking out the rest of the crew and destroying the gun.

With the 75mm field gun knocked out, the surviving Hungarian tank and infantry fired on the infantry on the ridgeline. Within seconds, two of their number were killed immediately, before the rest of the rear guard broke ranks and retreated. As they fled, four more Manchukuo troops were hit by machine gun fire, before managing to make it behind a low rise that protected them form the Hungarian gunfire. (Hungarians: 32 infantry, 1 tank, 1 gun; Manchukuo: 14 infantry, 0 tanks, 0 guns, all survivors retreated)

Realizing he did not have the forces to continue the assault, the Hungarian officer ordered his troops to halt the counterattack and retreat back to their defensive position. Now he could hope they could figure out where exactly they were and get into contact with command.

WINNER: Royal Hungarian Army

Expert's Opinion

The Hungarians won this battle thanks in large part to their superior weapons technology and logistics. The experts noted that Hungary has a much larger and more capable domestic arms industry during World War II. While they often suffered heavy losses against the Soviets and were tactically limited by being placed under the direct command of their German overlords, the Hungarians also were still better trained, had greater experience and had more competent commanders than the Manchukuo Army, who were chronically under trained and equipped, and poorly led.

To see the original, battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

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